My son Rex quit jiu-jitsu.  This made me sad.  It took some time to come up with an alternate sport/fitness activity that met the family’s criteria.

Rex’s criteria: It should be easy and not boring.

Rex’s suggestions: Tossing a ball with his 3 year-old sister.  Tossing a ball at his 10 month-old brother.  Going to the pool.  Playing any sport where practices begin May 2017 or later.

My criteria: It should be jiu-jitsu. If it’s not jiu-jitsu it should be something that is free, strenuous, requires no transportation, won’t embarrass him bc lack of motor skills, and is awful enough to punish him for quitting jiu-jitsu.

My suggestions: Jiu-jitsu.  Pushups.

Karena’s criteria: Anything I can’t lift weights during because she’s evil.


We eventually settled on running.  Rex runs around our property (probably 0.25 miles per lap) for an increasing amount of time each day.  He started with 10 minutes.  We monitor him through the windows to see that he’s not walking.  I haven’t caught him yet but he does sometimes take a long time to get around windowless portions of the house.  If this happens, I’ll open the door and shout encouraging words to him.  Then I’ll quickly close it before any of the heat or character-building bugs get inside.

Rex: Dad, so I have to run a minute more each day…forever???

Me: Yes, in less than two months you’ll be running an hour a day.  In a year – six hours.  There are 1440 minutes in a day, so in a few years you won’t even be able to stop running to sleep or eat or go to the bathroom, you’ll just run continuously.

Rex: …

Rex: Really?

So now I have to lift in my garage again.  I moved all of Karena and the kids’ crap out of the way.  I’ll get to the chalk dust/grime/dead bugs later.  It will give me something to do between sets.

Con: It’s routinely 90+ degrees Farenheit in the garage during the summer. It was once 104. (40 C)

Pro: I can tell everyone who will listen.

Pro: I’ll be training 7 days a week for an hour or more instead of 4-5x for 50 minutes.

Con: I’ll be training 7 days a week for an hour or more instead of 4-5x for 50 minutes.

Pro: I can train whenever I want.

Con: As long as it’s after 9 PM.

Pro: No annoying women exercising next to me, whipping me in the nuts with a jump rope while I’m trying to bench.

Con: No women wiggling their spandex-clad buttocks provocatively inches from my face as I dip down into a Romanian deadlift.

Make the last one a Pro.  I don’t know if it’s a gravitational field or they just liked it when when my sweat landed on them (mmm salty like pretzel…mmm pretzel) but only the really big chicks would cluster dangerously close to the rack

Con: Goodbye inspirational music in headphones. Hello baby monitor.

With no music to enliven my workout, I’ll turn to caffeine to energize.

Con: Hello going to bed at 3 AM still grinding my teeth.

Pro: Won’t have to deal with two year-old touching my gym bag or running behind me when I squat.

Con:  Will not be able to secretly make faces at him to make him cry.  Not that I would ever intentionally frighten a child.  Unless it was a safety issue.

Con: Because the roof of one of our sheds is partially collapsed I have to keep my lawnmower near the weight area (not too near I would not want anything to happen to it)

Pro: Can gaze proudly at lawnmower between sets, which will increase testosterone.

Con: Will have less amusing stories to tell on the blog.

Pro: I never post anyway.



Miss you guys

lately: bought new Husqvarna (Swedish) weed-wacker

Rex: portrayed Ray Charles for school thing, did world’s worst science fair project, earned gray belt in jiu-jitsu

Quincy: bought her 10 new colors of play-doh because it was a father-daughter activity that we enjoy.  She won’t let me have any.

Coach Jr: has giant balding head, undersized but overfat body, stopped spitting up, has four teeth, eats mush; can’t crawl but rolls across floor to locomote.

Karena: promoted to like lieutenant colonel of boy scouts. new position takes tons of time.  Salary: $0.  Number of recipes involving an open fire and tin foil that she’s told me about today: 3

Me: almost killed (accidental crushing not homicidal frenzy) a kid who ran up to me and tugged on my shorts when I was about to descend in a squat with 410. bought my bench into jiu-jitsu place so I could bench.  learned that military/push/btn pressing only does not improve bench pressing at all.

May elaborate on any of these stories. May instead relapse into 3 more months of silence.

Super Bowl Quiz

Match the person with their actions during the game.

  1. Me
  2. Karena
  3. Rex
  4. Quincy
  5. Coach Jr.
  6. Father-in-law
  7. Mother-in-law

a) ate a large Pizza Hut pizza plus a slice of another one. Played Axis and Allies on laptop during second half.

b) wore 49er’s jersey. Rooted for Panthers bc from Carolina. Mocked person playing Axis and Allies, then fell asleep on couch, missing 4th quarter.

c) noticed there was a football game and could identify teams playing, but played video games the entire time except when eating pizza or complaining.

d) did not notice there was a football game or pizza.  Played a game for three hours on tablet that seemed to involve Minnie Mouse and farting noises.

e) wore Carolina Panthers sweatshirt that was too small so gut hung out. Rolled about happily on floor until end of fourth quarter when Panthers were doomed.  Then vomited and cried hysterically.

f) watched game, slumped on couch like normal human

g) was at CHURCH during 1st half

Hint: 1-E



Happy New Year

Let’s see, what’s new?  Played in the Axis and Allies Revised (unoffical) World Championships, was one and done.

Since you asked, I was Allies, and nothing too shameful happened.  I didn’t get Britain or L.A. invaded.  German tanks didn’t roll into Moscow in round three.  My opponent’s strategy was to make a lot of fighter planes with Germany.  This made it difficult for the Allies to get their act together because their boats would get sunk.  The UK was able to get some troops in to help the Russians, though.  And the US moved heavy into Africa and at one point got the army as far as Trans-Jordan IOT confront the giant Japanese army forming up in Persia.  However then I had to pull back to Egypt.  And relinquish control of the Caucasus to Japan.  At that point I surely could have held out a lot longer holed up in Moscow, but didn’t feel like prolonging the inevitable so I surrendered in Round 11.

Anyway, getting a little tired of the game and may try other versions – or even other games.

Lifting going fair, squatting regularly over 400 again finally.  Doing lots of standing presses due to lack of good bench at jj gym.  Lots of RDL, like 330×6 or so.  Weight back down to 172 (was up to 180 or so around holidays)

Karena, kids are good.  Coach Jr. is six months old and was supposed to eat “food” but refused to and I guess chose to remain a baby for another six months instead.



The New Gym

So I dropped idk like a thousand bucks on a gym in my garage.  Now I don’t have time to lift there.  At my son’s jiu-jitsu gym, they had a nice squat rack but only like 300 lbs of weights.  Since I’m there 4 times a week I brought over some more: 2×45 plates, and some tens and 2.5s bc they didn’t have any.  No one lifts there but the owner and a couple other MMA fighters/instructors.

My routine is now squat/press/RDL 4 days a week for an hour, then i try to do bench on weekends.

There was a really cheap CAP barbell which i bent into buffalo bar shape within a week. The owner didn’t care but I brought my own (also CAP) from home.

It was very quiet and nice.  I could see if Rex was acting up and I could hear when he started to go live so i could finish my set and watch.  There was sometimes 3-6 fat people doing a cardio/kickboxing type class (“FIT TO FIGHT” or something) going on behind me by the punching bags but we kind of mutually ignored each other completely.  Pretty sure a 300 lb woman jumping rope does not want me to even glance in her direction and that’s fine.

The kids have zero interest in me, also fine.  Dad lifting weights.  Not exciting compared to black belt from Brazil, MMA fighter with picture on poster, or Muay Thai instructor who can kick a bag and make a loud noise approximately 1400 times an hour.

Even the other parents were cool.  About 0.42 “That’s a lot of weight” or “I don’t train legs because I have a bad knee” comments per individual which is a darn good ratio.

The only person who would ever pay me attention was this 4 year old girl.  Her brother does jiu-jitsu with Rex, her dad does the adult class, and her mom does the bouncing around class.  The girl tends to disrupt the mom’s exercise, so to keep her busy, the mom would let her bring dozens of My Little Ponies and play with them in the squat rack, which until I started training there was always totally empty.

Beginning of workout:

Me: Uh, sweetheart, can you perhaps consider, uh…

Mom: Madeline! Move your ponies so the man can lift weights!

Near end of workout, bored between sets:

Me: So who’s that one?

Madeline: Pinky Pie.

Me: Is that your favorite?

Madeline: No, my most favorite is Apple Jack.

Then I came in the other day and they’ve got like 2000 more square feet of mats.  The squat rack is moved right by the door.  So anyone coming in and out is like a foot from the end of the barbell.  The new mats apparently attracted new customers. So now there’s blasting music and I get to work out surrounded by fatties but also now hot girls in spandex and regular guys.

Here is a diagram:

Door   Rack X   X  X X X X
x  O  X  Me  X  X  X  X  X
x  X X X X  X  X  X  X   X
Boxing Ring here>
V Kids rolling around V

The Xs are people bouncing around to 80s pop and punching the air. The O is the instructor shouting motivational slogans.  Kind of interesting. If i dropped the bar off my back it would literally kill ten people.

Also now Madeline has to play with her ponies in the boxing ring so I don’t have anyone to talk to.

A Laundry and a Social Problem

So babies are pretty much all the same.  They’re cute, they poop their pants, they are greedy for milk, and they don’t know anything. Oh I’m sure your kid is remarkable in one of those categories. He’s very unique! How interesting.

So I don’t know how to say this without sounding like I’m bragging, but Coach Jr. is an exceptional infant: No baby has ever spit up as much as he has.  He sometimes spits up more than the amount he consumes.  Sometimes he spits up hours after he’s last eaten.


Has to wear a cravat because exceptional.

For those of you who are like “you need to burp him!” or “try not feeding him so much” or any other common sense suggestion, STFU because a) we have two other kids b) we have the internet c) Coach Jr has four grandparents and three great-grandparents who are full of suggestions that don’t work either.

BTW my mother-in-law has kicked him out of her house twice


[thirty minutes, six outfits, three soiled couch cushions, and four puddles of milk vomit on the floor later…]


Karena consulted various medical webpages.  If the kid is 1) growing, 2) not in any discomfort, and 3) it’s not like black or red or pea soup colored; according to one of the webpages: “You don’t have a medical problem, you have a laundry and social problem.”

After the Veterans Day assembly we went to the steak buffet place because they had free lunch for veterans. (no steak btw at lunch buffet it’s fine it’s free)

During this lunch, Coach Jr. spat up:

  1. on my arm so that it got in my forearm hair.
  2. on Karena’s shirt
  3. on her mother’s scarf
  4. on her dad’s pants so it looked like he wet himself (he untucked his shirt to hide it)

When we were all done, Karena picked him up and said, “LET’S GET OUT OF HERE BEFORE HE DOES IT AGAIN.” At that exact moment, he spewed a good volume directly onto the floor.

Karena’s mom added a dollar to the tip.

On Veterans Day…

…Rex’s school had an assembly.  Quincy was in preschool, but the rest of us attended including Coach Jr and Karena’s parents (her dad is an Air Force vet; so is Karena and her brother).

Coach Jr was pretty good. He likes brass band type music (i’m not making this up) so he was pleased by the patriotic song selection.


We tried to spot Rex in the stands in the section marked “4th Grade” but failed. First we thought he might have been hiding from us but it seemed unlikely that he could keep slouched down behind someone else for an entire hour.  Then both me and Karena’s dad spotted him, but on both occasions Karena informed us that no, that was a girl (the same girl both times btw).  I speculated that maybe he was either in the nurse’s office or detention.  It turned out that his class was just sitting down in front.

Besides looking for Rex and waving Coach Jr’s hands in time to marching music, the bulk of the assembly was spent waiting for this slideshow.  Specifically waiting for our pictures to show up.  We were told to send in a picture of ourselves in uniform.

Here’s mine:


Taken illegally by my battle buddy while the drill sergeants were with the rest of the guys at chow. We were supposed to be guarding the weapons, not posing with them IOT have pics to impress girls with. We weren’t even supposed to have a camera. BTW in the row of photos from home at the far right, third one from top is a guy in a dark shirt and a blonde in a white shirt.  That’s me and Mary Beth (from letters from basic).

Anyway, the pictures came up, set to music. “LOOK THERE’S YOU, COACH.”  “Haha, there you are, Karena!”  “DAD, LOOK. IT’S YOU.” “Huh? What’s me?”  “Up on the screen, sir.” “What?” “NEVER MIND” Then I pointed out the irony of coming here and waiting for these pictures to be on the screen for five seconds, when we owned the pictures and could see them any time we wanted, and Karena and I felt foolish.

Afterwards we could talk to Rex’s class if we wanted.  We wanted so we headed down there.  I am actually used to talking to kids about the Army and prepared for their zany questions. They did not disappoint.  A tip for dealing with kids’ questions: If they ask something utterly incomprehensible, just answer a completely unrelated question.

Kid: Did you ever make like a launcher? For car or not?

Me: The weapon in the picture is an M240B. It weighs 27.6 pounds and can fire up to 950 rounds a minute.

Kids: [look satisfied]

Also if they ask you how many people you killed…

Me: I killed 1,981,487 people. I have the record. Once I killed a guy by spitting on him from a helicopter. Another time I killed two guys who were running away from me just by shouting at them. They were so scared that they died.

Kids: [look satisfied]

Other actual questions:

Kid: Did you carry a sniper?

I knew what he meant so I told him about a sniper in our unit instead of making fun of him.

Kid: Did you battle?

I love the video game/bey blade/pokemon verbiage but I also didn’t make fun of him.

Me: Yes, I was in Iraq. That was a war.  A war is like, many battles.

I spoke for three sentences and answered about thirty questions. Two older vets showed up and since now there were four people waiting for their turn, I just said I was done.

Karena went next. She was not thrilled to follow me.



Kid: Did you jump out of airplanes too?

Karena: …


Class: ahahaha!

Rex: [looks proud]

Karena’s dad spoke next, then a guy who was in Vietnam on a submarine that had nuclear missiles on it. He was pretty interesting. I would have asked him questions myself if the kids didn’t have like fifty thousand which covered everything imaginable.  Finally the last guy was a Nam vet too and worked at an ammo depot.  He told about booby traps.

Teacher: Class, those are called IUDs. Can you repeat that?

Class: I-U-D!

Me (hurriedly): uh, actually, they call them IEDs now. Improvised Explosive Devices.

Teacher: Oh, right.  What’s an IUD then…(turns red) I.E.D. class! I.E.D!

The guy talked about getting a week R&R in Hawaii after 6 months in Nam.

Kid: Did you see a volcano?

Vet: Oh sure, yeah, we saw the volcanoes.

[five minutes and sixteen questions later, same kid waving hand frantically]